Social Media OVERLOAD

A letter to first time competitors... (ok, and everyone else too!)

Hey ya beautiful badass, as part of my Letters to a First Time Competitor series I wanted to address social media, and the INSPO OVERLOAD that it can cause... ESPECIALLY as a new competitor.

When I started my first prep I spent hours and hours and hours on Instagram girl crushing on all the fitness chicks. Amanda Latona, Paige Hathway... you know the crew. They have a bazillion followers, every pic is perfection, and every post sparked emotions of jealousy, inspiration, motivation, self doubt... all the feels. Yes, I looked up to these women because I know it takes a TON of hard work and dedication to keep those bodies up, but I also allowed myself to think less of my own life because it wasn't what I was seeing online. REALITY CHECK. Online lives ARE NOT REAL. It is SO important to realize that many "fitness models" post pictures that are not current.

Now, I am in absolutely NO WAY saying this is a bad thing. They're using their social media to build a brand, and a very strong method of keeping your posting game up is to reuse content that got great interaction the first time around. We here at AmandaLouise do that too. The important thing to note is that you must realize that this is happening, and that every one of those women have bad days too. I guarantee they have days when they cry... when they don't want to go to the gym... when they should have a protein shake but instead drive through Starbucks for a 500+ calorie Java Chip Frapp... we're all HUMAN.

Sh*t happens. Embrace the sh*t. It's what makes us who we are.

So, how to deal with this overload of amazingness online so we don't lose our minds? Here's a few tips from yours truly:

If you find yourself on Facebook doing the mindless news feed scroll, only to be left with emotions that are primarily negative (I swear, if I see one more political or passive aggressive post I will go POSTAL) then SHUT IT DOWN. I did this recently and it is purely liberating. I love my friends, but honestly, if I'm close enough to you to really care about what you're doing today, I probably know because we talk frequently and I don't need to stalk you on Facebook. That said, I do still HAVE Facebook, I just removed the main Facebook app from my phone. From my phone, I only login from the Pages and Groups apps. This is because I do love Facebook for AmandaLouise and want to make sure I can immediately respond to our community there, and I am in several groups for entrepreneurs / local communities / etc that I want to stay up to date with. This has worked wonders for me. I also have email notifications on for when someone tags my personal account in something. When that happens (FROM MY COMPUTER NOT MY PHONE) I will login on my web browser and check in on the Facebook world. So, I usually pop on a couple times a week... like a few posts, say my Happy Birthdays, and get back to work.

The exception to my advice for Facebook would be if you're building your brand off your personal page. I'm no brand expert.... so I'm not going to pretend to be :) And of course, if Facebook only brings you joy, and you are the social media unicorn that doesn't get lost in the scroll suck of the newsfeed, then more power to you mama! Facebook away.

Now let's talk Instagram. When I do allow my time to be drained by social media (beyond my best efforts not to) it is by Insta. I mean, who doesn't love to mindlessly absorb hundreds of perfectly filtered pictures!? I won't ever take Insta off my phone because it's where a lot of our community hangs out, and where I love to share what's going on with AmandaLouise. I'm trying to jump on the Instagram Story game... bare with me. Anyways, the one tip I do have is for those in prep. Sometimes, scrolling through perfectly hard bodies and gorgeous stage shots really is motivation. I remember staring at pictures of my favorite athletes while doing cardio in my last prep.... self talk "YOU CAN DO THIS." But, when it got to the very end of prep, my mind started to shift to "you're not lean enough..." , "that chick looks WAY better than you and didn't even win..." , "why are you even trying? You'll never look like them." YUCK.

So, I kicked Instagram off my phone for the last two weeks of prep.

Yup. I knew that I didn't have the self control to stop the negative self talk it was causing, so I kicked it to the curb. Now, competition weekend you better believe it was back on because I wanted to post a million pictures of the day, but at that point I was too busy to see what anyone else was doing.

The moral of the story is to just be careful about the self talk that is caused by what you're seeing on social media. Remember, people post THE GOOD, the highlight reels of their lives. You are AMAZING. You are BEAUTIFUL. You are a BADASS. Don't let filtered pictures and "motivational" posts let you think otherwise... cause girl, you got this... and we've got your back.

Stay beautiful...

Amanda Freick